Monthly Archives: December 2012

Mayan Apocalypse: ‘a fairly unremarkable day on planet Earth’

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A Mayan priest sits atop a pyramid as video game developer and former space tourist Richard Garriott addresses guests at his “End of the World Soiree” dress rehearsal in Austin, Texas Photo: REUTERS/Erich Schlegel

Across the globe there was relief that the apocalypse had failed to materialise and doomsayers, some of whom had partied like it was their last night on Earth, were left scratching their heads.

Telegraph | Dec 21, 2012

By Nick Allen, Henry Samuel in Bugarach

The dark planet Nibiru failed to knock Earth out of the sky and the promised solar storm never raged. The world is safe and we can breathe again.

The end of the 5,125-year Mayan Long Calendar had triggered predictions of a catastrophic end for mankind, but according to the US Geological Survey it was a “fairly unremarkable day on planet Earth.” There had been about 120 small earthquakes, including a moderate one in Japan, which was “very much a normal day.”

As dawn broke over the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza in Mexico, thousands of mystics, hippies, druids and pagans celebrated with crystal skulls, ceremonial fires, drums beating and conches blaring when the sun came up.

Genaro Hernandez, 55, an accountant wearing all white and an expression of bliss, said: “This world is being reborn as a better world.”

Mayan Apocalypse: as it didn’t happen

“We are in a frequency of love, we are in a new vibration,” added Ivan Gutierrez, 37, an artist, before a security guard ordered him to stop sounding his conch because he did not have a permit.

In Moscow 1,000 people who had packed into Josef Stalin’s bunker were able to go back home after Armageddon was averted.

Chinese authorities dismissed outright rumours that Jesus had reappeared as a woman somewhere in the middle of the country, and also denied that they had built an “ark” as a contingency plan.

At Pic de Bugarach, the French mountain some had believed to be a place of salvation, the sun came out from behind the clouds and a flock of birds flew past as the official end of the world struck after 11am GMT.

The mountain had been identified as an “alien garage” from where a vast intergalactic flying saucer would emerge to rescue nearby humans.

But the only paranormal activity to be seen was two spacemen in amateur-looking aluminium foil suits, and three green-faced ladies with antennae, ambling down the street.

The spacemen, Frédéric, 28, an unemployed waiter from Marseille and his brother Laurent, 35, said they had dodged gendarmes and spent the night in a cave to get to the mountain, from where they had hoped to be whisked away by an “interdimensional vortex.”

Will Hartley, 26, a photographer from London who also reached the summit at sunrise, reported seeing no UFOs.

Georges Tricoire, 72, a retired local construction worker, smiling from beneath his red beret, said: “For the past 50 years I have wandered over every single inch of that mountain, I know every rock, nook and cranny and everything that has been said about Le Pic de Bugarach is nothing but rubbish.

“Whoever started this rumour three years ago is a liar and all those who have followed him ever since are crooks.”

There had been confusion over the exact timing of the apocalypse, with some suggesting it would take place shortly after 11am, the time of the winter solstice, and others believing it would be at dawn in the Mayan heartland.

But as time zone after time zone reported nothing amiss it became clear that that Earth had been spared.

Modern Mayans, of whom there are six million, had repeatedly said the end of their calendar only meant the ushering in of a new era, not the end of the world. They were able to say “We told you so.”

However, Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History issued a warning. It suggested calculations to synchronise the Mayan and Western calendars may be off a few days, which would mean the calendar actually ends on Sunday.

Thriving Freemasonry expanding in Asia

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Thriving: many young professionals working overseas join the Freemasons Photo: PA

‘Secret’ society the Freemasons is expanding in Asia, as expats look to join its ranks.

Telegraph | Dec 10, 2012

By Justin Harper

The Freemasons are thriving in Asia as expats look for a ready-made network of professionals to help them settle into a new country.

The supposedly secret society, which dates back to the 18th century, is seeing a lot of young blood join its ranks overseas to help break the stuffy image of retired old judges meeting behind closed doors.

The numbers of young professionals signing up to the Freemasons is helped by the fact that the fraternity is on a drive to become more “relevant” and “open” in its dealing with the public.

Nigel Brown, grand secretary of the United Grand Lodge of England, said: “We have always been open but want to be more pro-active in doing this, such as being recognised for our charitable work and donations. There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about the Freemasons which we need to get rid of by helping people understand what we do and cutting out the jargon we use.”

Mr Brown was last week in Singapore to reopen Freemason’s Hall, a heritage building gifted by Queen Victoria to the Freemasons.

British-born Australian Nick Jacobs, 41, is an example of the new breed of Freemasons helping to grow the membership. He said: “It definitely has an attraction to expats as you get to meet up with people in a strange city and very quickly they are like brothers to you. And these are people you wouldn’t normally be friends with as they are outside the expat community.”

He added: “There are many older gentlemen who are active Freemasons in Singapore but we are finding that we are also attracting a much younger demographic of expats and locals.”

Freemasons in Asia regularly take part in social activities such as inter-lodge paintballing sessions and pub quizzes.

Singapore has eight English lodges and is part of a district that includes Malaysia and Thailand. Many countries in Asia are seeing a spike in popularity for the Freemasons, especially those nations with colonial roots and established lodges.

Dennis Heath, a British expat and Freemason in Singapore, added: “We see a lot of expats passing through Singapore who want to come to the lodge where they know they will be welcomed warmly. We also have expats who were previously part of a lodge back in the UK, along with those joining for the first time. The traditions and history of the Freemasons has a strong appeal in the fast-paced, digital world we live in”

But he admitted: “There is still a certain mystique, and many false myths, about joining the world’s oldest fraternal and charitable society.”

Miami TSA Screening Chief Juan Garcia Fired From MPD for Trying to Buy Sex

miaminewtimes.com | Dec 13, 2012

By Tim Elfrink

The Transportation Security Administration workers who keep Miami International Airport safe from terrorists, criminals, and Solange Knowles’s Afro (no, really, they thoroughly searched her hair last month) earned a dubious distinction in October. According to an analysis by ABC News, the TSA had fired more agents for theft at MIA than at any other airport in the nation.

So who exactly is in charge of the guys screening baggage at MIA? Turns out one of the top administrators is a former Miami cop who left the department in 2000 after he was caught trying to solicit sex from an undercover officer.

Juan Garcia is the assistant federal security director for screening at TSA’s Miami headquarters, charged with overseeing the metal-detector-operating, body-patdown-performing agents outside the gates. But until 2000, he was an 18-year veteran of the Miami Police Department who’d worked his way up to major. That all changed the night of June 24, 2000.

Garcia had spent the evening with fellow cops at a farewell party for a departing assistant chief. But just after 10:30 p.m., Garcia slowed his maroon Impala to a stop near NE Third Avenue and 79th Street and motioned to a woman lurking on the corner.

He offered her $60 and asked for a “fuck and a suck,” according to internal affairs records.

Unfortunately for Garcia, the woman turned out to be an undercover officer named Ella Moore. The major was arrested and charged with soliciting a prostitute, and IA charges of conduct unbecoming an officer were also filed.

A judge later withheld adjudication on the criminal charges in exchange for Garcia completing a diversion program, and he promptly resigned from the department. IA investigators later sustained the internal charge.

Shortly after leaving MPD, Garcia landed at the federal TSA. A spokeswoman declined to comment about Garcia but sent a statement from the agency: “[Garcia] fully disclosed the charge on his application. As part of a full background check, TSA determined the charge had been dropped and therefore did not violate any hiring qualifications.”

As for ABC’s report — which found 29 Miami TSA agents canned for sticky fingers since 2002 — she sent a statement from the agency saying, “TSA has zero tolerance for misconduct in the workplace and takes immediate action when allegations are substantiated.”

TSA Employee Busted for Stealing in GPS Sting

fieldtechnologies.com | Dec 11, 2012

When a person loses or forgets to collect his/her personal item(s) at an airport security checkpoint, TSA Agents are supposed to try to locate the owner or set the left behind article for the traveler to return and collect later. Some TSA Agents, however, have chosen other action.

To test TSA Agents’ honesty at ten airports, the ten with the highest theft rates, ABC News intentionally left iPads. Each iPad was clearly labeled with the name and contact information of the owner. Each iPad was valued at approximately $600. Each iPad had GPS tracking software installed and turned on.

Of the ten iPads intentionally left at a security checkpoint, nine were promptly contacted by a TSA Agent and returned to the owner. The tenth iPad, though, was not promptly returned to the owner. That iPad had been left at the Orlando International Airport.

What happens when the TSA takes your weapons away

After two weeks without word from TSA regarding the missing iPad, ABC completed a claim form. The iPad was not located.

ABC News then used the GPS tracking software to locate the missing computer. The software reported the iPad about a half hour away from the Orlando International Airport, at the home of Andy Ramirez, a TSA Agent.

When confronted at his home by ABC, Ramirez denied having taken the iPad. ABC News then triggered the installed GPS system’s location alarm. The iPad was inside the home.

Ramirez no longer works as a TSA Agent.

Since 2003, 380 other TSA Agents have been released from employment after allegedly stealing items left behind at airport security checkpoints.

Egypt on Verge of Becoming a ‘Totalitarian Islamist State’

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“Egyptian democracy forces today openly accuse the Obama Administration of helping the Brotherhood take over the country.”

newsmax.com | Dec 16, 2012

By Paul Scicchitano

Middle East expert Walid Phares says this weekend’s vote on a new Egyptian constitution is part of a broader strategy by President Mohammed Morsi to transform the country into a “totalitarian Islamist state” like Iran.

“They forced the referendum on Egyptians without judges, monitors, and under the pressure of their street militias,” explained Phares, an advisor to the anti-Terrorism Caucus of the U.S. House of Representatives, said in an exclusive interview with Newsmax.

“That’s what the forces of civil society are seeing today. Egypt is divided between the Islamists and the rest of the country.”

Following the first round of a two-stage referendum, Egyptians narrowly voted in favor of a constitution shaped by Islamists but opposed by other groups who fear it will divide the Arab world’s biggest nation, according to officials in rival camps speaking to the Associated Press.

Terrorism and the Illuminati: The Muslim Brotherhood

Masonic origins of the Islamists movements

Qabalah, Freemasonry, the Tijaniyah Order, the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda, and Sufism

Egypt constitutional vote: ‘Things are definitely worse than under the old regime’

As of late Sunday afternoon, Phares said that the results showed an approval margin of nearly 60 percent for the referendum, which he said may be even higher when all the votes are counted.

“The opposition, including 80 percent of Egypt’s judges and elections bureaucracies have accused the Muslim Brotherhood of rigging the process,” asserted Phares, who served as a senior advisor on foreign policy to the Romney campaign.

The decades-old Brotherhood is the region’s largest and best-known fundamentalist Islamic organization, one that gave rise over the years to such terrerorist organizations as al-Qaida and Islamic Jihad.

“For example large areas known to be liberals saw their ballot boxes being removed, their votes canceled,” said Phares. And he said that Egypt’s separate voting centers for women were staffed primarily by Muslim Brotherhood supporters.

“The bottom line is that the results of the referendum in Alexandria, Cairo, and major cities has been in favor of Morsi and his constitution,” said Phares, who authored “The Coming Revolution.” “Technically, the measure is passing, despite the fierce opposition by seculars and liberals.”

He added that while the opposition to the measure is significant, the Muslim Brotherhood has government resources at its disposal.

He said that the Brotherhood “outmaneuvered” the opposition by dividing them and then weakening the military before seizing the parliament and presidency during the country’s recent elections.

“Aside from the Brotherhood and their Salafi allies, most Egyptian political and social forces opposed the referendum including liberals, socialists, conservative Wafd supporters, secular women, liberal youth, Copts,” said Phares, who is also a Newsmax contributor. “Socially most labor, peasantry, and middle class also opposed the Islamist constitution.”

He said that the second phase of the referendum to be held next week will likely be dominated by the brotherhood since the opposition has fewer resources to canvass in remote towns and villages

“Because of years of activism within the mosques, the brotherhood can rely on a well-structured system of mobilization that begins in the pulpits,” Phares said.

“The penetration of mosques by the Islamists over decades, at the disadvantage of moderate Muslims, is paying off now. It was known that the Islamists would win the referendum, because of the control by Morsi of the institutions, the division of the opposition — and one must note — the passive role of the U.S. administration in criticizing the brotherhood’s takeover. Egyptian democracy forces today openly accuse the Obama Administration of helping the Brotherhood take over the country.”

TSA Apologizes To Wheel-chair-bound 11-Year-Old Girl Detained At Airport

cbslocal.com | Dec 17, 2012

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The TSA has apologized to an 11-year-old girl who was detained for nearly an hour last week at DFW International Airport after agents said they found explosive residue on her hands.

TSA’s disabled child detainee: ‘I Still Feel Traumatized!’

The girl, Shelbi Walser, suffers from a bone disorder and uses a wheelchair to get around. She and her mother were traveling to Florida for medical treatment when the incident occurred.

TSA Humiliate Child In Wheelchair

The TSA released the following statement to KRLD.

   “We regret that the experience of this young lady was not a positive one as we always strive to screen passengers with dignity and respect while ensuring the safety of all travelers. Everything TSA does is designed to protect against another terrorist attack. In all likelihood, this traveler would have presented no risk, yet we could take no chances. She alarmed for explosive residue and TSA took the necessary steps to resolve the alarm.”

Walser’s mother, Tammy Daniels, said that TSA agent never used common sense when they pulled her daughter to the side and called in a bomb expert. The two were released after experts found nothing hazardous.

John Kerry, Tipped as the Next Secretary of State, Has Bilderberg Links

Editor’s Warning: PR, Propaganda, Disinformation and Spin. Read at your own risk.

forbes.com | Dec 18, 2012

by Eamonn Fingleton

US Senator John Kerry: Secretary of State in the  wings?  (Image credit: AFP/Getty Images via @daylife)

US Senator John Kerry: Secretary of State in the wings? (Image credit: AFP/Getty Images via @daylife)

The news this morning is that John Kerry is in line to become America’s next Secretary of State. If so, it is another piece of  red meat for Bilderberg conspiracy theorists.

Operating  from a tiny office in a Dutch university, the Bilderberg organization is hardly known outside the highest reaches of power. Yet as networking organizations go, it is so rarefied it makes Davos look about as exclusive as Facebook. Adding spice to the story is the fact that the Bilderberg organization has embarrassing links with Nazi-era Germany.

Bilderberg is not well known because – highly controversially – it doesn’t want to be. But its annual get-togethers in five-star hotels in Europe and North America are noted for their apparent clairvoyance in identifying future top leaders.

Bill Clinton was one such pick. A relatively obscure governor of a poor southern state, he was invited to his first Bilderberg meeting in 1991. The following year he was elected president of the United States.

Now, John Kerry may figure in a similar sequence. He participated in the latest Bilderberg gathering in Northern Virginia this summer and as of this morning is being touted as Secretary of State in President Obama’s second administration.

This follows hard on the heels of the appointment of another Bilderberger, the Canadian investment banker Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England. Having attended his first Bilderberg meeting in 2011, Carney was invited back in 2012. As I have pointed out in a previous note, it may be significant that the British finance minister George Osborne, who announced Carney’s appointment last month, also attended both get-togethers.

Conspiracy theorists have long argued that Bilderberg is a uniquely powerful organization that constitutes a sort of shadow world government whose approval can prove decisive for aspirants to a host of top jobs.

Of course this is a classic case of “post hoc, propter hoc” — just because phenomenon A is followed by  phenomenon B does not mean that A caused B. And in the Bilderberg group’s case, there is  rarely, if ever, any evidence  of a causal link between its gatherings and subsequent developments. To the extent that the group may sometimes invite fast-rising future leaders to its  gatherings, this may merely reflect the fact that it is reacting to fundamental forces beyond its power to influence. This applies in spades to the Kerry episode in that, as the Democratic nominee for president in 2004, he was hardly a rank unknown when he got the Bilderberg invitation.

One thing is clear: as a supposed  ultimate pinnacle of world power Bilderberg comes up short. Although some Bilderbergers  probably privately enjoy all the masters-of-the-universe chatter, the reality is that they are still bogged down trying to secure their original, rather limited, and more or less openly stated, objective of establishing European unity.

This is not to say that there are not axes grinding. On closer examination, the Bilderbergers break down into two camps:

1. A  tightly focused hard core representing the  national interests of Germany, the Netherlands, and Austria. One of their top objectives seems to be to get Britain and the United States to continue to facilitate central European trade policies.

2. A ragbag of British and American notables who have led their nations’ push towards unconditional, and often unreciprocated, free trade. Some of these are showboaters  (Bill Clinton and Henry Kissinger come to mind) and some are idealists (Financial Times commentator Martin Wolf might be among them). But irrespective of whether or not they believe the radical free market dogma they spout, they  rank high on any list of  people the export-minded governments of central Europe might want to encourage.

The Bilderberg group is notably secretive,  which catches the lunatic fringe’s imagination. But it has also attracted reasoned criticism from quite sane observers over the years. An early example was Phyllis Schafly, a conservative American Catholic who tackled the group in a book as far back as the mid-1960s. A decade later the British journalist C. Gordon Tether, a then prominent columnist for the Financial Times, tried to focus attention on the group. For his pains he was fired by FT editor Fredy Fisher.

What is undeniable is that the group’s genesis is highly controversial. In a previous note, I wrote that the group was founded by Prince Bernhard, a one-time Nazi who went on to marry the future queen of the Netherlands. My facts have been challenged by a commentator who uses the pen-name Hegemony.

As Hegemony is not prepared to use his or her real name, I would normally shrug off the challenge.   But let’s give him or her the benefit of the doubt. Take Hegemony’s suggestion that Bernhard somehow had little to do with Bilderberg’s genesis. The fact is that Bernhard owned the Bilderberg hotel in the Netherlands where the group held its first meeting in 1954. He not only served as president of the organization at that first gathering but continued in this capacity into the mid-1970s – and even then had to be bundled off the stage only because he suddenly emerged at the center of the Lockheed bribery scandal.

As for Bernhard’s Nazi past, again there is little room for debate. It is a matter of historical record that he was a member of the notorious Sturmabteilungen (SA) until late in 1934. My edition of Encyclopaedia Britannica describes SA members as “the select exponents of the Nazi doctrine” and adds, “force was the keystone of their existence.” The Dutch author Annejet van der Zijl has published evidence that Bernhard joined the SA well before the Nazis seized power – and thus his action was voluntary and cannot be excused by any suggestion of coercion.

It is true that soon after he married the future Dutch queen, he switched sides. What is clear is that truthfulness was not his strong suit and he persisted to the end in denying he was ever a Nazi.

If Mr. or Ms. Hegemony is to be believed, the Bilderberg’s principal founder was the Polish political leader Joseph Retinger. Perhaps. What seems to be true is that he was the originator of the idea which he then took to Bernhard. But Retinger was also a notably controversial figure. Born in the Austro-Hungarian empire, he was not necessarily the unalloyed Polish nationalist he has been portrayed. It is a matter of historical record that the Polish resistance were sufficiently convinced that he was a Nazi secret agent that they tried to have him assassinated.

Of the early Bilderbergers the third most important was Paul Rijkens, chairman of Unilever. Rijkens too had a record that was less than ideal. While it would be going too far to suggest he was a Nazi collaborator, he knew Hitler quite well and, up until the outbreak of war, the two did much mutually satisfactory business together.

Is the Bilderberg organization some sort of shadow world government? Disappointingly for the conspiracy theories, this does not withstand  examination. For one thing, Bilderberg boasts almost no East Asian participation. For those who follow the money, any get-together of putative masters of the universe that does not include heavy representation from East Asia is Hamlet without the prince. After all East Asia now accounts for close to 75 percent of the world’s capital exports. To be sure, Bilderberg meetings recently have included one or two participants from China but these are obvious lightweights. What is remarkable is the almost total absence of other East Asians, most notably the Japanese but also the Koreans, Taiwanese, and Singaporeans. The Japanese absence is particularly significant given that Japan – that alleged basket case of global economics – has somehow increased its net overseas assets from less than $200 billion at the end of 1989 to nearly $3.5 trillion on the latest count.